I didn’t say it

I am not going to suggest, gentle readers, that knitters are a specific sort of person, or that we all possess the same personality traits. I’ve met knitters from all over, and there’s not a single thing that I can point to and say “There. That’s how you can tell. He’s tidy. That’s a knitter thing.” * I’ve met knitters who have their household supplies organized alphabetically, and ones who live in homes that are all in a tip. Those two things aren’t even related. I’ve met knitters who’s knitting is a total mess, but you’d feel comfortable licking any surface in their supernaturally clean apartment, and knitters who knit with a precision and attention to detail that would make you weep, assuming you can find a tissue somewhere in the disorganized mountain of stuff they keep around them. There is simply no predicting it, and I’ve given up trying.

You can’t say all knitters are young, or all knitters are old, you can predict their gender statistically, but men make up too much of the field to be able to say for certain. I can’t take a guess at your politics, and I can’t say that you like wool, and if you’d like to start the knitter equivalent of a bar-fight, just get yourself twenty knitters in a room together and say something like “Straight needles are simply the best.”  We are a random crew, and the only thing I can tell someone for sure, is that you have no idea what a knitter is like, or what they like – except for knitting.

That said, I feel confident that there is not one among you can argue with the idea that knitters can be a little… detail oriented. That it can be easy for us to lose ourselves in getting the minutia of something tiny right, to spend forever nailing down something so that it is knitterly and perfect.  Take the braids on this mitten, for example.  I have taken the time to reverse them, so that the braids on the left mitten point left, and the braids on the right mitten point to the right, because knitters, that’s just darned elegant. Will anyone every notice? Will a single person outside of this blog ever think to themselves that they’re just that little bit more perfect? Maybe not. Maybe just me… and you.  That kind of attention to detail isn’t something that everyone notices.  You might not have done it yourself, you might not have chosen to spend your time that way. You might look at it and think “wing of moth Stephanie how can that have been your goal” but not a one of you is going to say “that is stupid, doesn’t make a spot of difference, and is not at all the difference between knitting that is a 9, and knitting that’s the full damn Monty.”

perfectbraids 2016-08-09

It is freakin’ beautiful, and perfect, and perhaps the reason that I missed the big picture. Those braids are the very essence of perfection, and balance, and … well, not nearly enough to make it so you don’t notice that I’ve accidentally reversed the colours on the entire mitten hand on the second one – but I didn’t notice until I went to take a very smug picture to show you.

dammit 2016-08-09

How’s that for attention to detail?

PS. Someone’s going to ask for the pattern, so here it is.

chart 2016-08-09

That’s the chart # from Latvian Mitttens, the number of stitches I cast on, the row I put the thumb on, how many stitches the thumb is, the row on which I started the decreases for the top, and the type of decrease I used.  Boom. It’s all I need. (Except apparently to pay attention. Speed Kills, kids.)

*I will admit that the number of knitters who have a fondness for bags of all kinds seems to be somewhat telling, and we do seem to be rather preternaturally attracted to office supplies, but it may be a causal relationship. We probably start out normal.

239 thoughts on “I didn’t say it

  1. Will the future recipient find this color change charming? Will Stephanie make two more mittens to match these or rip one and reknit?

    • That was my thought also … Knit another pair 🙂 — They Are Gorgeous! Love the contrast … Blue and white. Like a Dark sky with snowflakes.

      I need to get my act together and try this kind of colorwork. I did take a class knitting a 2-color cowl …. but its been a few years.

      M in NC

  2. I guess I shouldn’t say that I like the coloring of the second mitten better, huh? I say leave the mittens different and see if anyone notices.

    The braids are exquisite! Nice work!

  3. I love that they are different!! They are stunning!!! Love how knitters are all so different. Yes, I think we did all start out normal and then knitting entered our lives. Lol

  4. Depends on the recipient… would they delight in it, I know I would. Or knit another pair just like them. Either way they are perfection….

    and a big yes to the bags ( and I don’t even carry a purse when going out) and office supplies!

  5. What a beautiful example of how stranded knitting changes based on color selection, I love them! Did your mistake help even out your yarn usage?

  6. I know no one in the world cares what I think (this comes up way too often not to be true), but I actually LOVE the fact that they are yin and yang mittens.

    And I have a huge collection of bags! So many, I’ve actually been thinking of getting rid of some, just in case I die. My sister will easily understand all the yarn because she is a knitter, too, but how is she going to explain all the bags to whoever helps her clear out the house?

    Lovely job, including the reversals–both of them.

  7. Love the mittens! You know what I think happened? You switched the direction of the braid, your mind got stuck in switch mode and you switched the colors! (Ask me how I know).

  8. Bags and office supplies! I think you are on to something. Also crayons and colored pencils. The mittens are beautiful. They are fraternal twins rather than identical.

  9. I’d stick with it – I love the way the second one looks – or, given that it’s a gorgeous pattern, finish this one then knit two more so you have a pair each way!

  10. They are fantastic. I like the fact that they are the reverse of each other.
    In sad news, for people who knew her, IndigoJoy (Joy Schulenburg) passed away suddenly on Saturday, August 6, in California. Our thoughts are with her family. Hope you don’t mind my mentioning it here, Stephanie.

  11. I certainly hope you have enough yarn to knit 2 more mittens!!!
    About the office supplies – as I was leaving Drug Mart this afternoon after (again, 2nd time in a week) buying plastic school boxes – I thought I must have a peculiar urge to organize my little ‘things’. Now I realize it may be a common crafter trait. Too bad about how big and disorganized my yarn and fabric stashes are though!!!!!

  12. Omigod, the bags. Irresistible! And the only thing I love more than an office supply store is the travel size section of the drug store.

    But I was a nut for both things before I was a knitter. Wait, is there such a thing as “before knitting”? Or does the knitting gene just lie dormant until triggered and the bags/office supplies are a symptom?

  13. It makes more sense to my knitterly brain to have them reversed. They are awesome and your braids make my heart sing, well done!

  14. bags and office supplies! yes – especially pens. love how they turned out but admit that I would have to make two more so they would match. I have to say that they make me feel better about my mistakes. it’s nice to know that I am not the only one that does things like that. LOL

  15. I laughed *SO* hard. yep. probably wouldn’t have even noticed it at first cause I was admiring the braid. BeYOOtiful mittens darlin’!

    I don’t think I started out normal about bags and office supplies – I think that might possibly be a knitter thing. because I’ve always had a PASSION for both. I even have bags to keep my bags in. 🙂

  16. Mmm, office supplies…
    But bags? I don’t – oh, wait. Yep. Bags. Got to have something to cart my knitting around in, after all.
    If you do decide to knit another two mittens to make two matching pairs, as some have suggested, be sure to re-reverse the colours so you don’t end up with two blue/white lefts and two white/blue rights – which is most likely what I’d do in your situation (assuming I had the dexterity for two-colour knitting in the first place).

  17. Those are beautiful mittens. Both of them! Keep them that way, please, oh, please, don’t rip. If you have enough yarn I hope you’ll knit ONE more, in either color scheme, so that you have a set of 3 beautiful mittens.

    Mittens should be knit in threes. If you have three mittens you are less likely to lose one. And If you do, you will be less upset. And you can wear the three mittens in a rotation scheme so that each of your mittens will wear longer. Three, it’s a magic number.

  18. Add me to the list of people who love the mitten colours reversed. They look sensational and most people would love them as a gift.

  19. I though the reverse of the braid was a brilliant idea, attention to detail, that sort of thing. I totally missed the mittens were reverse images of each other until you pointed it out.

    So, inquiring minds want to know. Will you give the fraternal twins as a pair? Or, are you going to knit another pair of mittens to fix the mismatch? Or, rip one back and start over?

  20. Forgive me while I laugh my ass (arse) off! FWIW, it didn’t even register that you’d reversed the MC & CC until you pointed that out! I love ’em, though. Don’t change a thing.

  21. I’m with Betty at 6:00 pm. I love the reverse pattern myself – but will the recipient? If so, leave it. If not, then either give them to someone else on the list or re-do mitten #2.

  22. Wait, what? OMG They ARE reversed!! I didn’t even notice. Woulda been a surprise to me too. at bindoff. LOL
    and I love office supplies and bags. 🙂

  23. lol! It only makes them more beautiful! And as the Amish say, “perfection is for God”. Mistakes keep us humble and keep it real.

  24. What we love most about you is that you are human. Well, of course we also love the incredible knitting and bike riding and sailing that you do, but honestly it’s your human-ness that slays us.

  25. I’m one of those who is super organized with my knitting, but struggle to keep the rest of my life neat and tidy. I actually surprised myself by how I have everything set up in Ravelry like I’m some kind of neat-freak, and how I keep my yarn organized by color and weight, and how I always makes notes on projects, and how I almost always weigh my yarn now that I have a yarn scale. Because the rest of the time, I pretty much just throw things where I happen to be, and folding clothes is a pains so I don’t always do it, and making my bed is one of those things that I might do in a blue moon. And yet, I think knitting has helped me to realize that I *can* organize, and so I do it a little more often than I used to 😀

  26. Beautiful mittens indeed!
    I hope the intended recipient is the right person for them just the way they are.

    I would definitely reverse the braids myself.

    I was feeling virtuous this month as I took three bags to the local tailor for minor repairs to zippers etc – I didn’t throw them out and I didn’t buy new ones.
    Yes I definitely have too many bags.

    Thanks for the great post!

  27. It’s a good thing most of my co-workers have gone home for the day, because I snorted rather loudly at this one. I was reading along, thinking “yes, I would notice that all was right with the braids and would definitely notice if they weren’t mirrored . . .” and then I saw the second picture. “Oh no, she didn’t . . .did she on purpose? . . . OMG NO SHE DIDN’T . . .” and that’s when the snorting happened. If you hadn’t confessed, you could totally have passed this off as intentional.

  28. Oh goodness!
    It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who didn’t notice the color had reversed until you pointed it out.
    I like them both but I just saw your ig that you decided to frog it… with all that effort reversing the braid I get it.

  29. That’s absolutely miserable, and a horrible lot of work to tear back– it would reduce me to tears. But I have two things to say:
    a) They look absolutely stunning that way;
    b) You managed to overcome the tragedy to write about it in a way that made both me and my husband laugh aloud. That’s talent, and strength of spirit. Kudos on that!
    Best of luck, Stephanie– best of luck.

  30. Personally, I find that one mitten always fits a certain hand better than the other. Having two different mittens would help that problem. However, I saw your IG feed, and well, they are your mittens to knit. (all that ripping though, my heart was sad)

  31. That right there is why I’m just not knitting at the moment.
    I just know I would do something like that, and then stress about it, and not have enough yarn to make two more, and not have enough tolerance to rip one out, and the whole thing would end up in a tangled mess on the fire pit.
    But now I want to make mittens. 🙂

  32. This. Is the greatest damned thing in the world and has brought me more delight than almost anything since Uncle Tupper’s Second Thumb. (My google-fu is failing me and I can’t find a link…) That said, reversing the colors goes perfectly with reversing the braid. You won’t believe me, but it does.

  33. I think you should knit another pair and then put the properly colored/patterned ones together for a new set. The way I see it you have already knitted one mitten for yourself and one for a Christmas gift. Or at the end you’ll have two pairs for Christmas gifts. The recipients will love them. You are quite clever, testing the colors like this to see which you prefer.

  34. I think it would become a “design element” for me. I don’t know which version I like. Or maybe the first two of four?

  35. I was taught not to laugh at other people’s expense, but Oh, Stephanie, did I laugh at the mitten reversal. I’ll be interested to hear how your finish them out – continue in reverse mode, keep as pair, continue in reverse mode and make new partners, tear out reverse work and have a stern chat with yourself??? As to bags and office supplies: I think that’s a crafter thing. I was also a Girl Scout leader and was fortunate enough to live in a medium-sized town in Iowa during those years where there was a wonderful independent office supply store. They had a fantastic inventory of everything from pens, paper, stamps, pencils to art supplies. You could buy a single piece of specialty hand-made paper and cherish it, buy a few pieces of 100 lb. bond for a resume, one orange felt tip pen, etc., unlike the big box stores around here which require you buy a ream of paper at a time, tens of pens in a package, etc. I miss that little local store so much (btw, we’ve moved back to our hometown in Michigan), I feel terribly deprived. :-<

    • Here on Michigan’s west coast, we still have Fris’ office supply…..lovely lovely store. If you are ever close to Holland and feeling nostalgic for something hometown and not big box, you could check it out. It’s right downtown.

  36. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you didn’t reverse which colour was dominant when you switched how you were knitting it? The patterns actually look really different (the second one is more rounded) to me.

  37. Wow, Steph! Even His Grimness laughed out loud at your post. (He does cross stitch.)
    I love the mittens just as they are.

  38. Gorgeous mittens! Especially the braids.
    Don’t worry about the reversed colors, I’ve seen a lot of people doing that on purpose with their mittens and calling them fraternal. Do watch out, because color work mittens are addictive.

    I have a lot of wips and they’re all in large zip-loc bags. I like that I can see through them, because I have a hard enough time finding projects without opaque bags (I’m on the disorganized end of the spectrum). I also love office supplies and bought way too much stuff at the back to school sales.

  39. They still match. Just lead with a very confident, “Of course, I meant to show both colorways”, add a sly smile, and BOOM! You’re good to go!

  40. You’re right; I got so engrossed in the perfection of the braid that the hand colours went right by me until you pointed them out.

    Oh, and I have more bags and totes than a widow living alone with her cat can use at any given time…And stationery? LOVE the stuff! Beautiful cards (even better with a knitting theme), journals, paper/envelope sets, wonderful pens…Oh yeah.

  41. That’s pretty funny. Once again, reading you lost showed me that although I like to knit and knit pretty regularly, I am not a knitter. I like to get things right, but little details like the braids wouldn’t bother me as long there were no mistakes. Every time you talk about knitters I realize I am not one; I’m just just a person so likes to knit.

  42. If it makes you feel any better, I think the reverse is gorgeous, shame it’s not that way on the other mitten (was that rubbing salt in the wound? Sorry). At least you hadn’t finished and woven ends in.

  43. I think that another thing we have in common is that when something about our knitting bugs us, we will continue to knit as if said thing didn’t bug us. And, when we point out the issue to someone else (knitter or not), no matter how much they may say, “It looks okay to me” or “I like it”, in our heart of hearts we know we have to fix it. Having said all this, I like the mittens exactly as they are. The braids are perfect, and I find the reversed colors absolutely fetching. But that’s not gonna stop you from ripping it out, is it? 🙂

  44. Love the detail on the braids!

    Laughed out loud at the color change…but, at the same time, I kinda love the difference.

  45. Fascinating what a difference the colour placement makes. At first I thought you had knit the second mitt from a completely different chart! After I finished reading the post I realized it was the same pattern, but it still looks to me like the one on the right is larger than the one on the left. (I’d knit two more mitts, especially for gift-giving purposes. You’d be surprised how many people are driven mad by asymmetry.)

  46. Gosh, I love the reverse colors! I may have to knit a pair of mittens this winter just to do this! I didn’t knit any mittens last winter, so it’s time…

  47. Oh my. Growing up in a teacher’s home, and now being a retired teacher, I love office supplies and little paper fasteners and such. 🙂 Back to school time is soon and I will go smell the notebooks and erasers and probably buy myself a little notebook just so I don’t feel left out. 🙂 September is the New Year for me. And starting out normal? Not a chance. I was a newborn swathed in my knitting mother’s woolly items and surrounded by yarns and needles, grandmothers and my mum who was a fantastic knitter. Being a knitter started young! Mmmmm…. yarn fumes!

  48. I laughed out loud and clapped my hand over my mouth because I totally would have done the same thing!! Those braids are indeed things of beauty. My next pair of mittens is going to have them, and they’ll be done Harlot Style in your honor.

    Bags and office supplies, yes yes. And notebooks, especially ones with clever covers.

  49. My guess is that you don’t have enough for another pair.
    And yes because you are a knitter and particular about detail you will RIPPPPP 1 out.
    Question is which 1
    But thanks for making my day.

  50. I saw the frogging on Instagram first and wondered why. Sigh indeed. They did look quite beautiful and I had to look a second time before I saw the reversal of colours. I’d have stayed with the fraternal twins.

  51. Oh darn. Those mittens are so lovely (any which way!) that suddenly although I should be doing my freelance editing, I have two books of Latvian mittens beside me.

    Are you by any chance familiar with the book Latvieša Cimdi? It is by Maruta Grasmane, and available from a bookshop in Estonia… or, apparently, Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/Latviesa-cimdi-Maruta-Grasmane/dp/9934141418

    Ok, I am stepping back and putting these back on my bookshelf. They will still be here after the editing! Starting something from them could be my reward after getting the second thesis back to the author!

    The reversed braids are exquisitely beautiful.

    • I checked the link and the book is absolutely beautiful! My husband is Latvian/Canadian, and next year we are going to visit his sister and BIL. You know what’s on my list to look for now! And I’ll take the original Latvian version since I have a handy translator at home, although I might have to wake him up after supper 😉
      Thanks so much for this link
      Chris S in Canada

  52. I almost always reverse the coloring when I knit colorwork mittens like these. I like it. It’s apparently a quirk. You can pretend that’s your thing too, if it helps. The braid is perfect. Wonderful. TOTALLY worth it!

  53. Oh, dear, I guess they got frogged. I would have left them as-was but if you know in your heart you made a mistake it is extremely hard not to go back and fix it, no matter what others say. Knit on – and maybe do a pair with the reversed colors later.

    Today is the 19th anniversary of my beloved grandmother’s death and some of my fondest memories of her involve stationery stores. I’d get a cool pencil or nifty little notebook in the mail from time to time and absolutely cherish them. The big stores are just not the same.

  54. I’ve been knitting a long time and for the life of me I can’t see what you are talking about. Each mitten has a blue/white pointed arrow design on the wrist and part way up the wrist. They are mirror images of each other and look perfect to me. What am I missing?

  55. How about a poll? 1. Is your knitting mostly organized? 2. Is your house mostly organized? 3. Do you love bags and office supplies? (You nailed me with the bags and office supplies.)

  56. They’re exactly how they should be–I wish I’d thought of doing that. They’re a matching pair where you always know as you reach for them which one goes on which hand, no fumbling. I love them! (And those braids!)

  57. I think “normal people” might be like my previous concept of “normal feet” – I consider I have peasant’s feet, others think they have hobbit feet etc.
    On discussing sock and foot anatomy at a sock class I put forward the idea that I didn’t have ‘normal feet’, the tutor wondered what ‘normal feet’ were, she felt we are all just different. All different construction socks for all different tyes of foot anatomy.
    My house is a mess, knitting pretty much a mess, but I love stationery and classifying things, and bags to put my knitting in to keep it from being wild.

  58. What a brilliant design idea, perhaps you could call them “Double Reversing Mittens” and that way your beautiful mitts will gain even more ooohs and aaaahs?

  59. They would have been fine as reversed mittens, except for one thing:

    The cuffs were not reversed.

    Good choice to rip, Steph.

    • I’m with you on this one Moorecat, love the idea of reversed mittens, but only if they go all the way. I guess that’s my special flavour of knitters OCD!

  60. Oh Stephanie! I’m sorry it’s at your expense, but I really needed the laugh out loud this morning. It’s more on me, though, because until you pointed it out, I didn’t even notice the colors were reversed. “speed kills”–yep, I’ve got that tee shirt, too. Mine was knitting an entire front 1/2 of a cabled sweater only to find out I didn’t reverse the order of the pattern.

    Beautiful work–I’ve been struggling with Latvian braids for a long time, and no luck!

  61. *I will admit that the number of knitters who have a fondness for bags of all kinds seems to be somewhat telling, and we do seem to be rather preternaturally attracted to office supplies, but it may be a causal relationship. We probably start out normal.
    This is exactly right, at least in my case.

  62. Would if help if Ms Obssessively Matches Her Self Patterning Sock Yarns me points out that both are absolutely beautiful and in this case, would totally not twitch to wear matching mismatches? And that is not something I say lightly!

  63. So freaking awesome, a reversal that may have started by accident, but could always make intentional. Almost like socks that Nancy Bush has put in one of her books, similar but slightly different. Leave it!

    • Yes, and if people did notice, they’d be freaking out because they’d know something was different but it would be too subtle to tell! 😀

  64. bag obsession, yes. office supply fixation, yes.

    i feel like i’m in an AA meeting for Knit-o-holia or something, confessing to my horrible addictions…

  65. I didn’t notice the tiny mistake the american gymnast made on uneven bars last night, and I thought her routine was perfect, then they replayed and called out the tiny off-balance handstand at the top of the low bar, and how she had to push off to get momentum again. Outsiders never notice the minutia of our important details, but most will still appreciate the meaning of “hand-knit”. Changing the direction of a braid to make the wrist more uniform is something I would automatically do as well! Love those mittens, they’re gorgeous.

    Circular needles FTW.

  66. I love them exactly as they are! My sister always looks for the mismatched part of anything I give her – these are perfect!

  67. I actually wished you kept the second mitten that way.. I think that it would be a great teaching pair in color choices and what an impact it makes to the same pattern. Also, if anyone has issues remembering left from right, it might help. I love the braids. Love. Them.

  68. As someone who confidently stated that she was going to put her finished colorwork sweater in the fair, only to find out this weekend that she completely forgot the waist increases and has to rip out at least 40 rows and *then* start the yoke, I feel your pain. Today is fair entry day–think I can finish all that while working 2 jobs in the next 3 weeks?

  69. I thought the braids were perfect. To echo many others, would the intended recipient mind having fraternal twins? Because even though I like the second color scheme better, they do like rather nice together.

    Also, I have a thing for bags and office supplies. With bags, it is all about the pockets. I don’t know why, but number of pockets is a determining factor in any bag I buy.

  70. Absolutely, laugh out loud, hilarious! Thank you so much! (By the way, the mittens are gorgeous even though reversed in color!)

  71. I really like that they’re different but I also love fraternal socks and mitts and I’ve never, ever tried to match where the stripes fall in self-striping sock yarn (though one day I might).

  72. this post makes me feel slightly better about the sock I just unraveled between picot cuff and leg (yes. Cuff, perfect. Leg, issues) planning to graft back together after I fix leg problem. We. Are. Unique.

  73. I totally get that kind of attention to detail being totally necessary to a project. That’s why, when I’m quilting, my friend just shrugs and lets it go when I explain that “I know no one’s going to understand that my quilt background has 82 pieces for a reason. It has to have 82, not 80 or 81 or 84.” (I certainly don’t expect anyone to actually count?!) But I know there’s a reason, and that’s what matters. And, if I ever explain that reason, most would continue to think I’m a bit insane, but they’d be impressed with my dedication!

    Lovely mittens, by the way!

  74. I so want to make these mittens. Never mind that I am a beginner knitter (I picked up needles for the first time 3 months ago…my deepest gratitude to all who post videos to you tube). For crying out loud, I frog nearly as much as I knit. And if that isn’t enough, I live in Texas where it never got below the freezing mark last winter. So my question is, how experienced do you need to be to attempt these lovely mittens? I am close to retirement and I don’t want to risk suicide by mitten before I get to enjoy the freedom.

  75. I designed and knit a pair of socks with cables twisting down the side which was the primary design element. I didn’t realize I twisted all the cables the wrong way on the second sock, thus eliminating entirely the design element, until I photographed them on the recipient.

    She doesn’t care, so thus they will stay.

  76. I’m going to frame and hang this blog post. It will make me feel better about something in my knitting, probably soon! I hope the person who gets those mittens at X-mas loves them!

  77. We’ve all done it, and most of us something far worse. Thank you for owning your humanity, and by doing so, making the rest of us feel better about our own foibles, knitterly and otherwise.

  78. What I used to say when I was a software developer and something I had written didn’t work as expected, but was cool just the same: “It’s a feature!”

    Your mittens are awesome!!

    • But you didn’t really mean it. At least not about Stephanie’s mittens. You could say it and mean it about mine though, assuming I ever work up the courage to try the Latvian braid. When DH and I go to Latvia next year to visit his sister and BIL, I’m hoping to find a yarn shop that will teach me “for reals”.
      Chris S in Canada

        • Yup, pretty sure I’ll get struck down for it somehow. But it will be so much fun, that I’ll just keep trying and trying and eventually the knitting goddesses will let me finish a braid that looks pretty good. At least I think they will? Won’t they?
          Chris S in Canada
          (touch the cat – oh gord, cats will be my nemesis)

  79. How lovely! I like the idea of the reversed color, especially if you’re using afterthough thumbs. Without the gusset I know I would personally always start by putting the mitten on the wrong hand, even though there’s a 50/50 chance I’d get it right. I can never seem to get usb’s plugged in the correct way the first time either, and they have the same probability.

    Also, that Lisbeth Upitis book is fantastic! I know it’s supposed to be for mittens, but I have definitely cannibalized charts to use on sweaters and stockings. I’m kind of bummed it’s in paperback, I would love a nice hardcover copy, but I guess I just have to be gentle with the copy I own.

    And as for office supplies, I live for a nice pen with a medium to bold line. I also own way more binder clips than is really acceptable, because I used the small ones to clamp together pieces of knitting while seaming and the large ones on my ironing board when I rip and reskein yarn. Wonderously useful, binder clips.

  80. OMG I didn’t even notice at first about the color mixup, even though I noticed how nicely your cables turned out. But now that you say it… (comment on my brain today??? HA!) Seriously they’re lovely things.

    My oldest granddaughter and I are serious office supply junkies, could be she’s a future knitter.

  81. It’s also why we sew – to incorporate those little details that make garments all the more special. No one else may notice, but WE know they are there!

  82. I think they’re both beautiful. I would leave it, but that’s just me. I like slightly mismatched but still totally matching things lol. (also I’ve been following your blog for like a decade now and you’re my hero and I just thought you should know that.)

  83. I think I should save this anytime I have to talk to people about detail orientation. This is just brilliant.

    Oh, and lovely mittens, too!

  84. Yep, laughed out loud at this one. LOVE that you can (and do) have a great time poking fun at yourself. Made me remember your post about the week of decaf coffee. Remember that?

    • OH MY GOSH I HAD FORGOTTEN THAT SERIES! I don’t know if I would laugh or cry if I found out my coffee had been switched to decaf for a whole week. Probably both at the same time.

  85. Absolutely love this story! The mittens are beautiful.

    Yes, I laughed, but I am also so very grateful. When I am moaning, screaming, crying, tinking, ripping after finding a mistake and my family shakes their collective heads, I will show them this post. When the queen of world-class knitters does this, it is not wrong. It’s all about the options and solutions. It is a glorious and life-long-learning part of the process. Your perfectionism with the braid is….perfect.

    I also love bags and office supplies especially notebooks/journals, stickies and writing implements! I am a knitter!

  86. Before there were computers and the most technologically advance “typewriters” were those huge IBM things, I would tell the totally type A students in my classes that they would find “typos” in their course syllabi and that they need not point them out to me because I had put them there on purpose, just for them. Totally, lying. I like both mittens, and having somehow reversed the upper portion of some booties I am knitting, (even with a stitch marker dangling on the Right side !!!!), I am planning to just try to duplicate the error on the second bootie.
    I’m guilty of the office supply and bags (purses, project bags, re-usable grocery totes, etc)
    Beautiful mittens and admirable honesty. We might not have noticed the reversal.

  87. Isn’t the left the “sinister” side? the “dark” side?

    And, for someone like me who has never quite learned right from left (my other right) reliably, those mittens are perfect…

  88. Your attention to detail is astounding; I love to knit, and call myself a knitter, even tho’ I don’t frog very much at all. I count rows and stitches and if a pattern is complicated I don’t talk or read or even watch tv. I really think that if people question the different colours and you say with authority that it is a design element, they will accept it. A fun thing to do would be to wear them as they are and then see who mentions the different colourways, and if you can predict who will even notice (maybe that is just my idea of fun). If it were me in this situation I would knit another pair to mirror what you have now and then you would have two Christmas gifts done. And finally, I love both bags and office supplies, but mostly bags.

  89. First off, I like the contrasting pattern. Secondly, I laughed out loud at the bag and office supply comment. I’m obsessed with both. People give me gift cards for Staples!

  90. Forwarded to me by a friend…and I fell on the floor laughing! Spectacular work (secretly VERY envious), but your narrative on our [knitters] idiosyncrasies is absolutely ROYAL!! Thank you!

  91. I find the mismatched pair terribly elegant. Reminds me of the first time I was invited to a good friends family home in the French countryside over 30 years ago. It was a beautiful home and when we sat down for dinner the first thing I noticed was that dinner plates among the 12 guests were mismatched. Each plate was beautiful and the colors were somewhat in common but our hostess who could have easily afforded a marched set had chosen to express herself differently. I admired her from that moment on and I can honestly say that experience changed the way I moved forward in my own life. Give them as a pair, mismatched….they are beautiful individually and together.

  92. Your handwriting is lovely, by the way.

    I’m with the people who said either “Knit two pairs” or “Give to someone who likes their stuff a little weird”…if you can bring yourself to do that. I really hope you can, because both mittens are lovely.

  93. Another example that proves your rule that knitters are all different: I would continue knitting the second mitten in the reversed colorway and I’m 99% convinced from your previous blog posts that you will tink and correct it.

    If it were my mistake, I would reference the brilliant Anna Zilboorg’s Magnificent Mittens & Socks book and say, “But Anna reverses the colors on her projects all the time and they are beautiful!” But maybe that would just be a way for me to legitimize my burning desire to finish up the stupid second mitten and quickly move onto the next project on my never-ending wish list. 🙂

  94. Beautiful mittens and the braid blows me away. If I were wearing them, I would not be able to keep my eyes off that braid. However, I would tear the second mitten back and re-knit it the same as the first mitten. It would bother me. Maybe it’s an OCD thing?

  95. What lovely mittens. Could you say that you did it on purpose? I’m so glad I’m not alone in making rather interesting mistakes. 🙂

  96. I totally get it and laughed hysterically! I would have probably given them to my kid who would have pointed out the issue and then worn them -she loves stuff that is unique!

  97. Hilarious! I like that the colors are reversed, but I know it will drive you crazy. Also a deep abiding love of office supplies is completely normal.

  98. I had a rather large affinity for bags and office supplies long before I was a knitter. My grandparents owned an office supply shop. I knew more about pens & pencils & paper at the age of 5 than most people know in their entire life.

    I suppose that means I was 100% screwed. Knitting was just bound to happen eventually.

  99. Revenge of the Knitting Gods because of the perfection of your ability to do such beautiful colorwork.

    Leave the gloves as they are and let the KGs be upset because everyone loved them and their mischief was for naught.

  100. This is my favourite Yarn Harlot post ever!
    Did not see that ending coming and know that even years from now it will make be making me smile.

  101. Frankly, I LIKE the pair reversed like that whether it was intentional or not! I really had to study the pair initially to figure out what you were talking about. 🙂

  102. Thank you, Steph – I feel incredibly validated at my “attention to detail” – I thought it was just me (and my obsession with Latvian braids and mittens in general – I mirror both the design pattern and the braids) – I find great joy in turning my knitting up to 11 – because ….well, you know.

  103. You are right, dear Yarn Harlot. We are a mighty strange bunch, us knitters. About your mitts: I believe they look adorable and show personality with the colors reversed. They are unique and perfect for someone else who is unique to wear them.

  104. Ok, aside from the little colour snafu (which I find very endearing BTW), those mittens are freakin’ gorgeous. Beautiful. I love them, and I am a wee bit jealous of you for making them, but also inspired to try making them myself.

    And… I do have a fondness for bags. And I looooovvvve office supplies.

  105. I thought that was artistic license…the color swap.
    I mean, that’s how you know they’re yours. Someone else will make the same mittens, in the same color, right?

  106. At least it’s not two lefts or two rights! Not that you would ever do that. 😉

    I actually like them just the way they are. Coordinated without being too matchy-matchy.

  107. The braids are lovely, and the mitts too, irregardless of the reversal of colors. Do your girls like to wear mismatching mittens as much as socks?

    I adore your pattern notes, by the way, and that you remember what they mean. I have a knack to write notes and then when I need them they mean absolutely nothing.

  108. Ha ha, this is so true!

    Wherever I travel I hunt out a yarn shop to buy some souvenir skeins (usually sock wool to knit walking boot socks). And wherever in the world it is, I meet a lovely person who enthuses about yarn and patterns and we chat like we’ve known each other for ages!

    The reversed colour was meant to be – wasn’t it 😉

    The braids are perfection.

  109. I would totally call the reversal a design element. Another option is a catchy new pattern name. I finished an entire sampler quilt before I realized one block had gone catawompous. I simply renamed the lady of the lake block, “lady of the lake after cocktail hour.” Worked for me!
    The braid is lovely and I would have tried to puzzle out reversing at as well. Phone calls to knitterly friends might have been involved but the braids would have kissed each other on the finished project for me as well. Details and love are what separates us from Walmart so I do not abandon either easily!
    I have way more bags than any sane human will ever need.

  110. …now you will always know which mitten is for the right hand and which is for the left…..

    Just a thought 🙂

    Barb, the now, somethimes knitter (morphing into a spinner/weaver)

  111. First of all, this is totally something I would do. My daughter, who has a better eye for detail than I do, noticed the difference right away, but appreciated that they are different. She also ALWAYS wears mismatched socks. So if you wanted to finish the second mitten and ship them to her, she’d love it. 😉

    That said, I do agree that you could finish this mitten and then knit another mismatched pair. Then you have another gift for the Christmas box.

  112. This is why I love this blog. I’ve totally done this before, will do it again. When it happened, I laughed, I cried, I laughed again. When it happened to you, I laughed, I felt eminence sympathy, and I laugh-cried. I like that you make fun of your mistakes to show that it’s okay to make mistakes.

  113. Perhaps these are sun and moon or night and day mittens? Exquisite, especially that lovely braid. Thank you for sharing.

    I agree on the knitterly predelection for bags. Also,the perfect small knitting scissors-especially the ones that make it onto planes.

  114. Chiming in to say that I also love the contrast of the 2. Recipient will always be able to tell left from right. 😉

  115. So.. what you’re saying is that you didn’t do that deliberately, however clever and planned it looks?


    (I am also not sure about your captcha thingie. I am not a musician, but I’m pretty sure a treble clef is not, in the usual sense, a ‘music note’ … a music notation, now… >.> )

  116. I find the color switch to be quite charming! A fraternal pair of mittens is so much more interesting than an identical pair.

    Of course, I’m such a slow knitter that I would cry if I had to frog a nearly complete mitten … you, on the other hand (pun intended), can probably frog it and be back at the same place – with corrected colors – in hardly any time at all. Can’t wait to find out the fate of the mysterious mismatched mitten ….

  117. This is why your blog is my favorite. As for bags, I agree. Check out Jul Designs Work bag 3, but hurry, since I just bought one.

  118. And when I looked at the photo, I thought “Isn’t that neat how she reversed the colors? Great design play!”

  119. I was going to comment that knitters might notice errors in someone else’s work, but wouldn’t be so unkind as to point them out (unless asked). Was thinking perhaps one of your rows of arrows was pointing wrong way, when *Wham!* Oh, dear. Oh no! Sorry, but that is so funny!

  120. So funny, I must find out how to reverse the braids, but not the colourwork. Bags – definitely, but I keep feeling slightly out of the stationery/office supplies love. Perhaps the exception that proves the rule.

  121. Now y’all have been reading this blog for long enough to know this woman will not keep this as a pair. That said, I’d like to put in my vote for knitting the matching pair for each, adding one extra pair of mittens to the Christmas knitting spreadsheet, and then checking that baby off!

    Also, ugh, I wanted to double tap that reversed braid so bad. Darned Instagram.

  122. Let my grandgirls pick out the yarn for their mittens. Both picked a Carron cake. I told them the mittens weren’t going to match. They think that’s cool. It makes me twitchy, but most often my 7 year old and 5 year old grandgirls don’t wear socks that match either. Why should the mittens match? If they like them and wear them, I’m ok with it. Even if it makes me twitchy.

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